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I learned Esperanto as a stepping stone to other European languages. Assuming I already know English and Esperanto (1 crown on all Duolingo lessons), which natural language(s) would be easiest to learn?

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In terms of vocabulary I think Esperanto borrows heavily from French. I personally found my knowledge of Esperanto very useful when I started learning French. However I think that any romance language (Spanish, Italian, Catalan etc) will have most of this advantage, if to a lesser degree.

When people say that Esperanto is useful as a gateway language, I think this is mostly true in the sense that the most difficult part of learning one’s first language as an adult is learning how to learn, ie, what methods work best for you, getting a habit of practicing daily and building up the confidence to not worry about sounding like an idiot when talking to people. Esperanto is good as a first language to use for this because it is more regular so you can more quickly get to a point where you can express yourself. Also almost everyone who speaks it went through the same process so people are more sympathetic to making mistakes and there is less of a notion of the “right” way to say something like there is in national languages. In that regard having some experience learning Esperanto will help with any language. This is the route I took and from my personal experience as a monolingual Brit I can say I never would have had the confidence to try another language if it hadn’t have been for my positive experience with Esperanto.

  • Wow, this is very interesting. Evildea said pretty much the same thing. For me though, that language was English. I am considering french at the moment, it has quite a lot of vocabularies from esperanto, although it is a bit confusing to pronounce at this point. – Zuoanqh Apr 30 '18 at 13:52
  • I'm accepting this answer because it is more general. Although personally, I will probably do Spanish first since the pronunciation is easier and I'm going to Spain later this year. – Zuoanqh May 24 '18 at 0:51
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I'm assuming your first language is Chinese, so that is another variable you want to consider before deciding which language would be easier to learn next. That is why I want to recommend Spanish to you, which I think is an easier Western language to learn. Phonetically, it is more like Esperanto. True, Esperanto has more French words, but from the perspective of Writing/Pronunciation, Spanish is much easier to learn and the grammar is not quite as complex. The only that is harder is the number of conjugation forms to learn.

  • lol why the down vote~~~ my denaska is indeed chinese – Zuoanqh Apr 30 '18 at 22:01
  • why would knowing chinese make it easy to learn spanish? – Zuoanqh Apr 30 '18 at 22:02
  • Because it's phonetically easier than French. French could be easier for him, depending on the circumstance. I wouldn't recommend voting down simple opinions, just because you don't like them for some reason. – Karlomanio Apr 30 '18 at 22:15
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    @zuoanqh I think Spanish would be easier because it's written (+-90% of the time)as it's spelled. Esperanto Is written like it's spelled 100% of the time. French has a much greater complexity in its spelling rules. – Karlomanio Apr 30 '18 at 22:20
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    @Karlomanio – I fully agree and would recommend OP learning Spanish, too. My own story: First I learnt Esperanto, which spurred my interest in Spanish. All the Spanish words ending in -o and -a looked like Esperanto words, and I started wondering what they meant…. Since Esperanto was so easy, I thought Spanish would be easy, too! :-) (It did turn out to be a little harder, though, esp. the verb system.)And Esperanto certainly gave me motivation + grammatical understanding + lots of Latin-derived roots which did indeed make learning Spanish easier. I’m sure others have had a similar experience! – Bjørn May 1 '18 at 7:26
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I tried Romanian via Duolingo & was very easy. However, I speak (not write) Vlach(Aromanian, less Slavic elements, but I speak/write YugoSlav languages as well). It improved my overall understanding & grammar of other languages. Except that I apply Esperanto logic to English & now make (intentionally, no A/AN etc) more mistakes in English (LOL).

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